This book in its present form is an attempt, still largely unsatisfactory to myself, to project certain ideas evolved from a quest of comfort—material and philosophical—in some respect quite different from that which engages most of us today.
If I have ventured to step from the humdrum practicality of economics to the sacred and dangerous precincts of philosophy, it is because philosophers generally seem to forget that the acquisition of food, clothing and shelter is prerequisite to the pursuit of the good, the true and the beautiful. Epistemology, ethics and esthetics acquire reality only if related to economics.
While not too sanguine about my success in venturing into this field, the book cannot wholly fail if here and there it spurs men and women to free themselves from the ugliness of this civilization. If it directs the attention of even a few thinkers to the questions with which it deals, I will feel fully justified in having published it.
It is impossible to acknowledge my indebtedness to all from whom I have taken counsel in the preparation of this book, but special mention must be made of my friend Guy M. Carleton, with whom I have discussed almost every point in it, and who has been good enough not only to study the manuscript, but to make many suggestions for its, improvement.
Suffern, New York.
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